Multiple messaging using a single selective call address
Message reminder alert for selective call receiver
Selective call message management
Method and apparatus for selectively storing a portion of a received message in a selective call receiver
Method and apparatus for pre-programmed call-back-number-determined alert
Method and apparatus for displaying a keypad arrangement on a selective call receiver
Method and apparatus for controlling utilization of a process added to a portable communication device
Communication receiver having user configuration control functions
DescriptionFIELDOF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to input devices typically used in handheld computing devices. In particular, the invention relates to an integrated joypad for a handheld computer. The integrated joypad is configured with a receptacle for receiving agraspable portion, such as a section of the stylus used with the handheld computer. The graspable portion of the stylus connected to the joypad receptacle is configured to form a joystick.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Handheld computing devices, "palmtops", "palmhelds", personal digital assistants (PDAs), or handheld computers typically weigh less than a pound and fit in a pocket. These handhelds generally provide some combination of personal informationmanagement, database functions, word processing, and spreadsheets. Because of the small size and portability of handhelds, strict adherence to hardware constraints, such as input device hardware, must be maintained. It is conventional to have buttonson the handheld computer for providing user input to the handheld computer. Further, the buttons may be configured to be used for the playing of game software and/or navigating through application software.
Other conventional implementations of input devices for handheld computers include attachable joystick devices that may be attached onto the front face of the handheld computer.
Accordingly, there is a need for an integrated joypad for a handheld computer. Further, there is a need for an integrated joypad for a handheld computer which allows for the attachability of a portion of a stylus to create a joystick device.
The teachings herein below extend to those embodiments which fall within the scope of the appended claims, regardless of whether they accomplish one or more of the above mentioned needs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An exemplary embodiment relates to a handheld computer. The handheld computer includes a housing and a display supported by the housing. The handheld computer also includes computing electronics supported by the housing and configured tocommunicate with the display. The handheld computer further includes an integrated input device configured to provide input to the handheld computer. The input device provides different input signals to the computing electronics dependent on adirectional movement provided by a user. The input device is configured to communicate more than four distinct directional movements from a user to the computing electronics.
Another exemplary embodiment relates to a handheld computer. The handheld computer includes a housing, data processing electronics disposed within the housing, and a display disposed in the housing and coupled to the data processing electronics. The display includes a touch screen configured to be used with a stylus. The handheld computer also includes a joypad coupled to the data processing electronics and configured to communicate signals to the data processing electronics dependent on thedirection in which the joypad is moved. The joypad is moveably integrated into the housing. Further, the handheld computer includes a joystick coupler integrated into the joypad. The joypad coupler is configured to receive at least a portion of thestylus which is configured to act as a joystick.
Further, an exemplary embodiment relates to a joystick device for a handheld computer. The handheld computer is configured to be used with a stylus. The joystick device includes an input device integrated into the handheld computer. Thejoystick device also includes a coupler integrated into the input device configured to couple at least a portion of the stylus to the input device.
Further still, an exemplary embodiment relates to a method of assembling a joystick for a handheld computer. The method includes providing a handheld computer with a joystick receptacle. The method also includes providing a stylus having adetachable portion. The method further includes detaching a detachable portion from the stylus. Further still, the method includes coupling the detachable portion to the receptacle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will become more fully understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exemplary depiction of a handheld computer having an integrated joypad with a detachable joystick;
FIG. 2 is an exemplary depiction of a stylus having a detachable tip;
FIG. 3 is an exemplary depiction of a handheld computer with an integrated joypad and having the detachable joystick detached therefrom;
FIG. 4 is an exemplary front view of the input button array of the handheld computer with the joystick;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional depiction of the joystick and joypad movement taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is an exemplary diagram depicting discrete directions which a user may move the joystick.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIG. 1, a handheld computer 100 is depicted, being optionally detachably coupled to an accessory device 110, according to an exemplary embodiment. Handheld computer 100 may include Palm style computers manufactured by Palm, Inc., ofSanta Clara, Calif. Other exemplary embodiments of the invention may include Windows CE™ handheld computers, or other handheld computers and personal digital assistants, as well as cellular telephones, and other mobile computing devices. Further,handheld computer 100 may be configured with or without accessory device 110 or optionally with any of a variety of other accessory devices. As shown, accessory device 110 may be, but is not limited to, a desktop cradle used for synchronizing with apersonal computer or other device.
Preferably, handheld computer 100 includes interactive hardware and software that performs functions such as maintaining calendars, phone lists, task lists, notepads, calculation applications, spreadsheets, games, and other applications capableof running on a computing device. Handheld computer 100, shown in FIG. 1 includes a plurality of input functions, keys 117 and a display 113 having graphical user interface features. Display 113 may be provided with an interface that allows a user toselect and alter displayed content using a pointer, such as, but not limited to, a stylus 200, an example of which is depicted in FIG. 2.
Referring again to FIG. 1, in an exemplary embodiment, display 113 also includes a Graffiti™ (or other handwriting recognition software) writing section 118 for tracing alpha-numeric characters as input. A plurality of input buttons 119 forperforming automated or preprogrammed functions may be provided on a portion of display 113. In a particular embodiment, display 113 is a touch screen display that is electronically responsive to movements of a stylus on the surface of display 113.
Accessory device 110 may be one of several types of accessories, such as, but not limited to, a desktop synchronization cradle device for serial and/or wireless data communications, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) device, or other communicationdevice. Accessory device 110 may include one or more ports for parallel and/or serial data transfer with other computers or data networks. Handheld computer 100 may use the accessory device 110 for the purpose of downloading and uploading software suchas, but not limited to, game software and for synchronizing data on handheld computer 100 with a personal computer, for example. In an exemplary embodiment, accessory device 110 couples to handheld computer 100 through an electrical connector located ata bottom portion of handheld computer 100. Button 155 on accessory 110 may effectuate an electrical connection between accessory device 110 and handheld computer 100 when the two are connected.
In an exemplary embodiment, handheld computer 100 may include an integrated joypad 125. Integrated joypad 125 may be a finger or thumb actuated button (see FIG. 3) which is moveable by a user in a plurality of directions. For example,integrated joypad 125 may be moveable in the up and down direction. In an alternative embodiment, integrated joypad 125 may be moveable in an up and down direction as well as a left and right direction. Further still, in an alternative embodiment, asindicated in FIG. 6, integrated joypad 125 may be moved in eight discrete directions, including up, down, left, right, and diagonal directions. For example, if one defines the right-hand direction as a reference (0°), the button may be moveablein the directions corresponding to 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, and 315°. Yet further still, joypad 125 may be configured to be moved in a continuum of directions from 0-360 degrees andcommunicate an analog signal to computing electronics of handheld computer 100. Joypad 125 is electronically coupled to computing electronics and/or data processing electronics that are disposed within a housing 130 of handheld computer 100. Joypad 125is configured to communicate an electrical signal to the computing or data processing electronics of handheld computer 100. The electrical signal corresponds to the direction in which the joypad is pressed.
In an exemplary embodiment, joypad 125 is integrated into handheld computer 100 such that it is movably supported by housing 130 or such that is movable within an aperture in housing 130. Because joypad 125 is configured to communicatedirectional input by a user in a plurality of directions, joypad 125 is useful as an input device for game programs or other applications which may be running on handheld computer 100 and for navigating around display 113.
Conventionally, for gaming, users utilize a plurality of keys 117 integrated into the housing of handheld computer 100 for providing directional input. However, keys 117 do not enable a user to provide a plurality of directional inputs, nor isthere a direction (or location) associated with each key that is intuitive to a user in a way that a joypad such as joypad 125 or a joystick provides. Further, conventionally, users utilize a combination of inputs on a touch screen by a stylus as wellas directional inputs from a plurality of buttons such as buttons 117 (see FIG. 4) and directional buttons such as up and down buttons which may be conventionally integrated into handheld computer 100 for providing input to application programs and fornavigating around display 113. Therefore, an advantage of providing an integrated joypad is that it provides a simplified directional input device for handheld computer 100 while requiring only a small amount of space (real estate) on housing 130, whichis a common constraint of handheld computing devices.
In an exemplary embodiment, joypad 125 also includes a receptacle 128 for coupling of a graspable portion 230 (see FIG. 3) extending from joypad 125 to form a joystick device. Receptacle 128 may include, but is not limited to, a threadedaperture, or any other type of mechanical connection configuration allowing relatively simple attachment and detachment of a graspable (joystick) portion 230 therefrom.
Referring now to FIG. 2, stylus 200 is depicted. Stylus 200 includes a body portion 210, an end portion 220 and a tip portion 230. During conventional use, a user grasps body portion 210 and writes with tip 230 on a touch screen, such as touchscreen 113 (FIG. 1). In an exemplary embodiment, tip 230 and/or end 220 may be removed from body 210 by, for example, unscrewing tip 230 or end 220 from body 210. Tip 230 includes a threaded portion 235 for coupling and decoupling from body 210. Shaft235 may include any of a variety of coupling and decoupling structures, such as, but not limited to clips, balls, and other type of fastening structures. In an exemplary embodiment, either tip 230 or end 210 or any other section and/or portion of stylus200 may be utilized as a graspable portion of a joystick which is inserted into receptacle 128 of joypad 125 as depicted in FIG. 3. Further, receptacle 128 may be configured to receive any of a variety of other graspable portions, such as a dedicatedjoystick handle, a pen tip, or any of a variety of other substantially stiff elements that may be used as a graspable portion for a joystick.
FIGS. 1, 4, and 5 depict handheld computer 100 with tip 230 coupled to receptacle 128 of integrated joypad 125 such that the combination of joypad 125 and connected stylus tip 230 forms a joystick that is provided for directional input tohandheld computer 100. A user is able to control the movement of tip 230 with a single finger, multiple fingers or any parts of the hand. As tip 230 is moved in a direction (as depicted in FIG. 5), joypad 125 is similarly tilted in the same directionand effectuates an electrical signal.
During use, should a user wish to transition from using the stylus as a writing or pointing device for handheld computer 100, a user detaches tip 230 from stylus 200 by unscrewing tip 230 from body 210. The user then screws threaded portion 235of tip 230 into receptacle 128. Receptacle 128 preferably has a screw thread therein configured to accept threaded portion 235.
While the detailed drawings, specific examples and particular formulations given describe exemplary embodiments, they serve the purpose of illustration only. The hardware and software configurations shown and described may differ depending onthe chosen performance characteristics and physical characteristics of the computing devices. For example, the type of computing device, input device buttons, or configuration used may differ. The systems shown and described are not limited to theprecise details and conditions disclosed. Furthermore, other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the exemplary embodiments without departing from the scope of theinvention as expressed in the appended claims.